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Agriculture for Food Self Sufficiency

Jul 29, 2009, 8:59 AM

Development, they say, is change. Change is caused to happen, if not left to happen.

The relationship between governments in Africa needs to be caused to change.

First of all we should think of the advancement of Africa as a continent. We are of the view that the continent should foster South-South cooperation by increasing trade between Africa and other nations of the South which face the same challenges as it does.

African governments need to support farming programmes in order to shield the continent from the ongoing global economic crisis, which is likely to affect the African continent most.

It is evident that the African continent can reduce the food import bill through improving production on its farms thereby insulating itself from the global economic crisis, which has also affected many economies in the West.

The fact that the continent's failure to collectively confront the challenge could have drastic effects on the continent should be taken into consideration. This is an indisputable fact as the truth is rarely pure and never simple.

He said: "A large chunk of our people are in danger of slipping back below the poverty line if we do not collectively strategize to deal with this crisis.

There is no doubt that this crisis poses a danger to Africa but also opens new opportunities for us. The accompanying food crisis must reveal to us that the abandoned and long suffering African farmer must become a focus of our attention".

We are also in agreement that governments must assist farmers to modernize and increase productivity in order to feed Africa and also contribute to exports.

The African continent, which has been regarded as the richest in terms of mineral resources, can also shield itself against the crisis through generating its own resources for development by being more cost effective in public financial management, avoiding waste in public expenditure and eliminating corruption, while creating a conducive legal and financial environment for the indigenous private sector to grow.

Seen in this light, it is high time that the African unification project was finalized as this too would help minimize the risks of the global financial crisis on the continent.

African governments should be ready and willing to put in place programmes to curb the migration of the continent's youths, most of whom die painful deaths in this process of searching for supposed greener pastures.

Africans are tired of the poverty and disease, the conflict and banditry. They have come to the realisation that things can only change if they take their destinies into their own hands.

"The greatest of our evils and the worst of our crimes is poverty."

George Bernard Shaw

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